NFL Predictions: Why New York Jets Will Have Nightmare Season in 2012-2013
After two straight trips to the AFC Championship game in 2010 and 2011, the New York Jets came into last season with championship aspirations.
Last year I thought we'd win it. This year, I know we'll win it.
While Ryan had made no such promises this offseason, New York is expected to make some noise and compete for a division title—at the very least in 2012.
However, here's why the Jets won't even sniff a division title this upcoming season.
While the Jets coaches have been adamant about Tebow being the backup, not the replacement, for Sanchez, there's no telling how Tebow's arrival will affect the fourth-year quarterback. Despite coming off his best statistical season (set career highs in yards, touchdown passes and passer rating), Sanchez's play proved to be extremely inconsistent.
In an effort to somehow improve the Jet's offense, the team traded for Tebow—because trading for a quarterback who threw for under 2,000 yards with less than a 50 percent completion percentage is the perfect way to solve your own quarterback questions.
Sure, new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano may find the perfect fit for Tebow in some wildcat-esque role, but his presence in New York has already done more harm than good—see Sanchez's ego. If and when the Jets get off to a bad start in 2012, the calls for Tebow will become deafening.
Lack of Pass Rush
Last season, the Jets ranked 13th in the NFL with 40 total sacks. While they were in the top half of the league, 13th is not nearly high enough for a team that prides itself on defense.
Furthermore, New York was led by Aaron Maybin in the pass rushing department, who totaled just six sacks.
While the Jets were ranked fifth in pass yards per game allowed last season, they didn't perform so well against top-tier quarterbacks. Against QBs who ranked in the top 10 in passing yards, the Jets gave up an average of 286 yards through the air—compared to the rest of their games where they allowed an average of 179 yards per game.
The Jets used to be known as a team that would run the ball down the opponent's throat. Last season, they owned one of the league's worst rushing games.
While they rushed the ball about 28 times per game, they only gained approximately 106 yards per game—leading to a third-worst average of just 3.8 yards per attempt.
Due to the retirement of LaDainian Tomlinson, the Jets are left with an extremely thin stable of running backs. While Shonn Greene had a career-year last season, he is at his best when he's part of a two-headed running game. Backing up Greene will be Joe McKnight—with his 323 career yards—and rookie Terrance Ganaway.
Tim Tebow will likely be another part of the Jet's running game. He's not expected to take over for Mark Sanchez any time soon, but could be a valuable piece in situational packages on offense.
The Jets brought in former Dolphin's head coach Tony Sparano to be the new offensive coordinator in New York. Sparano shares the run-first philosophy that Rex Ryan's defense can compliment. While Sparano will attempt to improve the Jet's running game, this problem has more to do with personnel than it does coaching.